Eric Johnson, Ah Via Musicom

A slight effort from a man whose skill should imply a better result. When he rocks he really does: not just "Cliffs of Dover," an incomparable virtuoso artifact worth all the airplay it's ever got, but also its junior reprise "Righteous" (apropos) and the undulating sparkle of "Trademark." Unfortunately the slower instrumentals have a little trouble taking off ("East Wes"), "Steve's Boogie" is way too short, and his ill-advised four vocal tracks are inoffensive at best. It's not a total writeoff, but I just wish the lows on this album weren't as low as the highs were high. (Content: no concerns.)